Forestry & Wildlife Professional Career Information
What a Forestry & Wildlife Professional does
Forestry essentially entails outdoor work. You'll be spending most of your time mapping forested areas, particularly during the initial years of your career. If you take this up as a career, you can choose to work for:
• Indian Forest Service
• Forest Management
• Forest Research
• Wildlife Biology/Management
• Others, like Plantation forestry
Indian Forest Service & State Forest Service: There are many wild life species in India that are endangered and need to be protected and conserved. As an Indian Forest Service or State Forest Service Officer, your core job will be protection and conservation of forest resources and wild life. In India, there are over 500 protected forest areas. If you get a job in one of these areas, you will be devising, implementing and monitoring detailed management plans. You will be constantly monitoring habitat parameters, resources and human population. You will also be in charge of preservation and protection of forests from campers and poachers.
Forest Management: As a forest management professional, your core job will be managing forest resources in such a way that they are not depleted. You will prepare documents about forest resources such as timber, ground for cattle grazing, shelter for wild animals, food and water for animals, etc. You will also identify areas, which require particular attention for fresh planting, felling, and thinning of dense forests or pruning, or pest control. You will also plan wildlife reserves, roads leading to interesting spots, recreation points, lakes, etc. You will supervise the crew conducting these assignments and maintain progress records.
Forest Research: There are a number of areas in which you can be involved. You may choose to be involved in research in various areas.
Biological diversity: In this field of Forestry & Wildlife you will find out how biological communities are organised; what is the impact of various forms of land use on the levels of biological diversity; how we can preserve biological diversity, etc
Human Ecology: In this field of Forestry & Wildlife you'll find out what role man plays in biological communities. How do his activities affect productivity and diversity of biological communities?
Eco-development: In this field of Forestry & Wildlife you'll break your head to find out how humans can manage the ecological environment and improve the habitat. How can we improve the efficiency of the use of fuel, fodder, construction material, etc., to reduce demand for these materials?
Climate Change and Tropical Forests: In this field of Forestry & Wildlife you'll study the impact of climatic change on forests. You will find out the potential of forestry as an option for improving the environment.
Animal Communication: It will be exciting to find out song pattern recognition in insects (say, cricket or grasshoppers), communication signals during courtship and their role in male mating success in this field of Forestry & Wildlife.
Wildlife Biology and Management: In this field of Forestry & Wildlife you'll identify wild life habitats, carry out census, devise plans for conservation and monitor the implementation of the plans.
Plantation Forestry: In this field of Forestry & Wildlife you'll standardise fertiliser dosage for plants, say, for teak plantation. You will recommend where to plant the trees and conservation policies.
• Indian Forest Services and State Forest services
• In various NGOs and government organisations like WWF-India, Bombay Natural History Society, NTPC, IFFCO, Society For Promotion of Wasteland Development, Tata Energy Research Institute, AFPRO, etc.
• Forest research institutions like Wildlife Institute of India
• Various companies involved in using forest resources. For example, ITC Bhadrachalam Paper Boards, WIMCO and BILT (Ballarpur Industries Ltd.)
• Various international and national donor agencies involved in ecological conservation like World Bank, Ford Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation etc.
• Universities departments and colleges
• Various State Ministries and Central Government Ministries
With increasing awareness about forest conservation among developing nations, there is an increasing need for many trained forest managers and forestry government staff to protect and refurbish the fast depleting forest wealth. With the growth of forests we see the growth of industries related to forests providing industry-based opportunities.
The Indian government is also taking large initiatives in conservation of natural and forest resources. Huge amount of fund has been earmarked for various agencies. So, as a whole, number of professionals involved in the field will be increasing.
Abilities & Traits Required
In this field of Forestry & Wildlife you should love flora and fauna and should be able to adapt to difficult living conditions. To be a successful forest manager, you must have all the skills of a business manager. Your analytical, reasoning and mathematical skills should be very strong. You should have excellent Communication skills, good leadership abilities, strong determination and lots of patience. You should also enjoy mixing up with people from different background.
For Indian Forest Service and State Forest Services you need to be physically strong with a lot of adventure and risk taking attitude in you. Your height should at least be 165 cms. Be prepared for a walking test for 25 km. The minimum height for women is 150 cms, with corresponding weight. The walking test in your case would be for 14 km.
As for the educational qualifications, in this field of Forestry & Wildlife you should at least be a graduate. In addition to this, you will need a degree/diploma in Forest Management/Plantation Management/MSc in Forest Economics and Management or other related subjects.
To be a Forest Researcher, Wildlife Biologist or other forest professionals you should have an explorative and inquisitive mind. In this field of Forestry & Wildlife you should have a keen interest in biological science and academics. Of course you should have a love for the wild.
As for the educational qualifications you should at least have a MSc in Zoology, Wildlife Biology, Forestry, Forest Resources, Agricultural Science, Botany or other related subjects.
In Indian Forest Services, you will start with Rs 20000 a month and in State Forest services, about Rs 15000 a month. In Forestry Research, you'll begin at Rs 12000 per month as a Junior Research Fellow. But when you join as a faculty member in a Forest Research Institute or in university department, you will start with Rs 15000 a month.
Forest Management professionals get better salaries. Your first salary cheque in this field of Forestry & Wildlife will be in the range of Rs 20000-25000 per month. Government departments and Ministries pay you in the range of Rs 15000-18000 a month to begin with.
Other organisations like NGOs, international or national donor agencies will pay you Rs 25000-28000 a month.